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Updated 05/15/2011

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Ball Danger

Having goldens in our home, I am sure we all have the most important "ball"...whether it be a tennis ball or a rubber ball.  Please read this article is so very sad and something that definitely needs to be addressed.  I know I immediately threw the two that I have out ASAP.  I am hoping that the beloved KONG will never cause this one golden can't live without it!  It also goes to show that accidents can happen so quickly. Please monitor your goldens during their play time...they count on us to help them stay out of trouble and danger.  

On June 22, 2008 , my 10-year old lab mix, Chai, sustained a severe injury from a product that the company Four Paws, Inc., produces.
The toy I'm referencing is the pimple ball with bell (Item #20227-001, UPC Code #0 4566320227 9).

While chewing on the toy, a vacuum was created and it effectively sucked his tongue into the hole in the ball.  From speaking with my vet, this likely occurred because there is not a second hole in the ball preventing the vacuum effect from happening.  I became aware of this when Chai approached a friend at my home whimpering with the ball in his mouth.  She tried unsuccessfully to remove the ball but the tongue had swollen and could not be released.

Chai was taken to the Animal Medical Center (an emergency care facility in New York City ) and was treated by Dr. Nicole Spurlock to have the ball removed. Because the size of the opening on the ball was so small, all circulation to his tongue was cut off. The doctors had to sedate him in order to remove it. Once the ball was removed, his tongue swelled to the point that he could no longer put it in his mouth. Chai was sent home with care instructions and to be observed overnight for any changes. By the following morning, Chai's tongue had swollen even more.


This is the dogs tongue not the Toy!
He was taken to his regular vet, Dr. Timnah Lee, for treatment. He was admitted and kept sedated for a period of three days during which time they were treating his wounds and waiting to determine how much of his tongue could be saved. On June 26, 2008 , Chai had his tongue amputated.

He was kept in after-care for an additional three days. On Sunday, June 29th, I brought Chai home from the vet with a barrage of home care instructions, to last for an additional 7 days. His next visit was to have his mouth re-examined and have the feeding tube in his neck removed.

To date, my veterinary bills total over $5,000 and I will have regular follow up appointments for some time. Additionally, Chai now requires a much more expensive form of food because of this injury, averaging approximately $200 per month. Additionally, I now have to re-teach my dog to eat, drink and adjust to life without his tongue.

I sent this information along to Four Paws, Inc., and it is their position that there just aren't enough instances to do anything about this.



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updated 05/15/2011
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